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U.S. Department of State 93/09/13 Remarks at signing of Israel-Palestinian Declaration Office of the Spokesman REMARKS BY SECRETARY WARREN CHRISTOPHER AT THE ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AT THE WHITE HOUSE SIGNING CEREMONY September 13, 1993 Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, Chairman Arafat, distinguished visitors, guests, friends and colleagues: I am honored to have witnessed the signing of this agreement on behalf of the United States. Millions of people have dreamed of this moment -- this moment for this very region. The Israelis and the Palestinians have taken a dramatic step toward a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace that can lift the lives of the people of the Middle East. They overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles in framing the Declaration of Principles and the terms for mutual recognition. They have broken through the barriers of fear and hatred. Throughout the process, they have demonstrated extraordinary courage and statesmanship. This gives genuine hope that they will complete the journey that has begun today. This achievement was the product of a sustained effort, international in scope and thoroughly bipartisan here in the United States. The foundation for this breakthrough, as the President said, was laid at the Madrid Conference of October 1991, which overcame the impediments to direct Arab-Israeli talks and launched a real peace process. The Madrid success, in turn, could not have been realized without its own foundation: the 1978 Camp David Accords and the 1974 and 1975 disengagement agreements involving Israel, Egypt, and Syria. In the distinguished group assembled here, I see not only those responsible for today's breakthrough but also men and women who for decades have toiled in the search for peace in the Middle East. I salute and congratulate each one of you. I also salute and congratulate those who helped at critical times. In particular, I express appreciation to Foreign Minister Holst and his Norwegian colleagues, who worked under very difficult circumstances to facilitate the negotiation of the Declaration of Principles. Foreign Minister Moussa and his Egyptian colleagues, and many, many others gave unstinting support to the peace process. We are all proud of this remarkable achievement. But we also understand that more remains to be done if this newly planted tree is to bear fruit. The United States is committed to a comprehensive peace between Israel and all its Arab neighbors. We hope and believe this agreement will spur progress in the talks between Israel and Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. The United States is prepared to do its part during the negotiations that lie ahead. We will spare no effort in helping the parties turn their agreements at the table into realities on the ground. We will remain a full partner in the search for peace. But certainly we are not the sole partner. We need the entire international community to join us in this work and to oppose any effort to subvert this hard-won peace. Many, many problems remain to be solved. This Israeli-Palestinian agreement cannot be permitted to fail. As today's historic agreement demonstrates, the Middle East does not need to be a cauldron of hostility. It can instead be a cradle of hope. Thank you.
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